most enlightenend prince of the
Lorraine family that ruled over
Tuscany for over a century, the
Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, united
in 1784 all the Florentine drawing
schools into one "Academy".
He also founded a gallery to
exhibit paintings with the aim
of facilitating the study of
the Academy's pupils. The seat
chosen is the present location
of the Museum, a building that
originally housed the "Hospital
of St. Matthew", enlarged
in time through the addition
of several adjoining spaces.
consistency and composition of
the collection displayed in this
museum has changed over time
due to the addition of works
of art removed from suppressed
convents, but also due to loss
of works temporarily given or
returned to other Florentine
museums, in particular to the
Uffizi (Bottlicelli's "Primavera" was
displayed here for many years).
Over time the Gallery has become
one of the main museums in town,
also thanks to the acquisition
of some extraordinary masterpieces,
such as the "Pieta" by
Giovanni da Milano (14th century);
the "Annunciation" by
Lorenzo Monaco (15th century);
the splendid frontal called "Cassone
Adimari"showing a sumptuous
marriage procession (c. 1450) and
the "Madonna of the Sea"attributed
to Botticelli (1445-1510).
1873, when Michelangelo's David
was exhibited for the first time
on a specially arranged tribune.
For protection purposes, the
statue was in fact removed from
Piazza Signoria where it had
represented for over four centuries
the strengh and dignity of the
Florentine Republic. In the early
years of the 20th century, this
statue was joined by other extraordinary
works of art by the same artist,
such as "St.
Matthew"and the four "Prisoners" originally
made for the tomb of Pope Julius
II in Rome, but placed in the grotto
of the Boboli gardens at the end
of the 15th century, and finally
by the "Pietà di
Palestrina" (whose attribution
to the master is still somehow
capillary organisation and restoration
of some of the rooms on the upper
floor have allowed the museum
to recently integrate the collection
with a series of paintings from
the 14th to the 16th centuries
and to open a room displaying
the chalk models of famous 19th
century sculptors like Lorenzo Bartolini and Luigi Pampaloni.
THE WOUNDS OF DAVID
The 26th April 1527, after the expulsion of the Medici from Florence, unleashed a genuine urban guerrilla focused precisely on the head of David, with Republicans entrenched in Palazzo Vecchio where trying to dismiss the Medici's supporters who pushed at the door. From the windows of the building flew stones and tiles and a bench struck the left arm of David, breaking it into three pieces, recovered by young Vasari and Salviati after being abandoned on earth for three days.
Probably on this occasion must have produced the split of the slingshot, clearly visible behind his back, the loss of some tips of curls and a small rupture along the lower lid of the right eye.
In 1991 the foot of the statue was damaged by a deranged man with a hammer, destroying a finger of the left foot, promptly rebuilt.
The David of Michelangelo 1501 - 1504
Michelangelo’s David has become one of the most recognized works of Renaissance sculpture, becoming a symbol of both strength and youthful human beauty.
of the David
David - Detail
David - Detail
The corridor of David
The gallery contains four sculptures of captives
by Michelangelo, unfinished works, which were
to adorn the grave of Pope Julius
II in Rome.
The series of the Twelve Apostles for the Cathedral
of Florence was commissioned in 1503
but was never completed. The St. Matthew,
now in the Accademia, is the
only one which was even blocked in (picture
Nardo di Cione
(also know as Orcagna) Madonna and Child Enthroned with
the Saints Andrew, Philip, Nicholas, John the Baptist
The Virgin and Child with Two Angels
and the Young St. John the Baptist
1465 - 1470
Agnolo Bronzino Deposition c. 1565
Lippi and Pietro Perugino
Descent from the Cross
of Santa Reparata
Giotto and Workshop c.
1305 - 1310
The chalk model for the statue of the Rape of the
14th - 16th century
Lorenzo Monaco - Annunciation - 1365
Triptych with Saints Catherine of Alexandria, Anthony the Abbot, Proculus, and Francis of Assisi
Pacino di Buonaguida
Tree of Life
St. Agnes and St. Domitilla
1365 - 1370
Giovanni da Milano
Neri di Bicci
Annunciation ca. 1464
Scenes of the Heremit's Life or Thebaide
Cassone Adimari c. 1450
In the Middle Ages there were not armoires, clothes were stored
in chests and were often built for dowry fin of the girls.
Many of these chests were really valuable,
a few with paintings, others covered with silk and damask.
The chest (cassone) Adimari,
gives us a picture of a marriage
procession in Florence of a rich family of merchants to the
middle of the 13th century.